Friday, July 3, 2015

Book Blast: The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack

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Title: The Memory Painter
Gwendolyn Womack
Publisher: Picador (Macmillan)
Release Date: April 28, 2015

What if there was a drug that could help you remember past lives?

What if the lives you remembered could lead you to your one true love? What if you learned that, for thousands of years, a deadly enemy had conspired to keep the two of you apart?

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there’s a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills…like the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people’s lives.

Linz Jacobs is a brilliant neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding the genes that help the brain make memories, until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan’s shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and their meeting triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago.

As Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists’ deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. Together, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.

A taut thriller and a timeless love story spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history, The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack is a riveting debut novel unlike any you’ve ever read.

Praise for The Memory Painter

“Gwendolyn Womack’s tale dazzles.” - US Weekly (Standout Spring Novels)

“The guy-meets-girl story as you’ve never heard it before…A mind-explosion of a journey ensues that involves time travel, mystery, love, and a whole lot of plot twists.” - Refinery29

“Suspenseful and ambitious…We predict The Memory Painter’s story of love and revenge will be one of 2015’s biggest literary hits.” - Paste Magazine (Best New Books of the Month)

“It’s a thriller as well as a love story, spanning 10,000 years of history. And it sounds freaking mental.” - io9, The Most Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the Month

“A time-travel tale, stylishly told.” - Elle Canada

“Womack’s debut is one of those rare works that impresses from the first vivid, unsettling scene, gradually building an atmosphere of secrecy and trepidation that ensures that the suspense remains high throughout. Part mystery, part science-fiction plot and part romance, this is a novel with broad cross-genre appeal, and the well-drawn scenes and flashes of humor and insight give this thriller a rare depth as well.” - RT Book Reviews

“It’s best not to try to analyze the ambitious plot of this thriller, which combines romance, fantasy, and adventure; just hang on for a wild and entertaining ride around the world and through the centuries back to ancient Egypt.” - Library Journal (starred review)

“A page turner that will keep readers up late into the night. Readers who love adventure, romance and fantasy will love this book.” - The Vancouver Sun

“Womack makes a romantic case for the existence of destiny…and does a beautiful job…Dive into this sweeping, romantic journey that will leave you breathless and a little unsure of where in time you’ve landed.” - Kirkus Reviews (One of the Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Reads of the Month)

“Well-drawn historical flashbacks, engaging characters, and a twisty ending make this thrilling blend of neuroscience, romance, and ancient worlds good bets for Da Vinci Code and Outlander fans.” -Booklist

“Some debuts cause a stir. [But] The Memory Painter makes quite a splash… On its surface, The Memory Painter reads like sci-fi. Fundamentally it speaks to the cultural, emotional, and spiritual connectedness that binds us all.” - New York Journal of Books

The Memory Painter is romantic and fun, full of history and science teased out at the perfect pace.” - BookRiot

“Womack has crafted a dark story defined by fast-paced prose that at moments sings poetic…at the novel’s conclusion, all story threads have been tightened into a snug, satisfying knot.” - ZYZZYVA

“The chapters recounting [Bryan and Linz’s] past lives are chock full of interesting historical tidbits…like being on a movie-themed ride at Disneyland.” - Publishers Weekly

“In The Memory Painter, Gwendolyn Womack delivers a multi-layered debut novel like no other: passing through the veils of time and brimming with history, mystery, science, intrigue, and passion.” - Katherine Neville, New York Times and No. 1 internationally bestselling author

The Memory Painter is an absolute masterpiece. Spellbinding from beginning to end, this brilliantly woven tale of time-crossed lovers will keep you hooked well into the wee hours. Gwendolyn Womack is a storytelling virtuosa, whose sexy, action-packed mind-boggler of a book is destined to become a classic.” - Anne Fortier, New York Times bestselling author of Juliet and The Lost Sisterhood

“A sweeping, mesmerizing feat of absolute magic. Ten thousand love stories, tales of revenge, inventions, histories, mysteries, and memories combine to serve up a complex and utterly riveting novel that leaves you with feelings of awe and wonder. A star is born!” - M. J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Witch of Painted Sorrows

“Layers of past and present form a rich pastry of a narrative–poignant and thoughtful, rich and suspenseful, filled with intrigue and dripping with meaning. Womack’s meditation on the beautiful mystery of memory is a riveting read from cover to cover, leaving us with the breathless realization that while grief may be eternal, so is love.” - Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale and First Impressions

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks |
IndieBound | Kobo | Powell's

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About the Author

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college while freezing in the tundra at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. During that time she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia on an independent study working with theater companies. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing theater and film where she was encouraged to write her own material. After graduating she focused on writing feature screenplays and was a semi-finalist in the AcademyĆ­s Nicholl Fellowship. In 2009 she moved to Japan and began The Memory Painter the following year. Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel.

The Memory Painter is her first novel.

For more information visit Gwen's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Official Book Trailer

The Memory Painter Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, July 1
Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 2
The Never-Ending Book
What Is That Book About

Friday, July 3
Bibliophilia, Please

Saturday, July 4
The Reading Queen

Sunday, July 5
CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, July 6
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, July 7
A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, July 8
A Bookish Affair
Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, July 9
Room With Books

Friday, July 10

Saturday, July 11
Just One More Chapter

Sunday, July 12
Broken Teepee

Monday, July 13
100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, July 15
Genre Queen


To enter to win a signed copy of The Memory Painter, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on July 15th.

You must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway is open internationally. Only one entry per household. All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Memory Painter

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blog Tour (Excerpt): Untamed by Diana Palmer #Giveaway #Western #Romance @TLCBookTours @HarlequinBooks

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Title: Untamed
Diana Palmer
Publisher: HQN (Harlequin)
Tour Organizer: TLC Book Tours
Release Date: June 30, 2015

Stanton Rourke lives life on the edge. The steely mercenary is dangerous in every way…especially to Clarisse Carrington's heart. She and Rourke were playmates as children, but she's not the innocent girl he once knew. When tragedy robbed Clarisse of her entire family, her life was changed forever. Besides, she's a grown woman now, and there are secrets that hold her back from succumbing to her pursuer. As she struggles to keep her distance, sparks as hot as a Texas summer fly between them. But danger is following Clarisse, leaving her no choice but to rely on Rourke, even as the old wounds lying dormant between them flare up again…


Chapter 2

Rourke spent the night getting drunk. He was out of his mind from his father’s revelations. Tat had loved him. He’d pushed her away, for her own good, but in doing so, he’d damaged her so badly that he’d turned her into little better than a call girl.

He remembered her in Barrera, her blouse soaked in blood that even a washing hadn’t removed, the stitches just above one of her perfect small breasts where that animal, Miguel, had cut her trying to extract information about General Emilio Machado’s invasion of the country.

Rourke had killed Miguel. He’d done it coldly, efficiently. Then he and Carson, a fellow merc in the group that helped Machado liberate Barrera, had carried the body to a river filled with crocodiles and tossed it in. He hadn’t felt a twinge of remorse. The man had tortured Tat. He would probably have raped her if another of Arturo Sapara’s men hadn’t inter¬vened. Tat, with scars like the ones he carried, with memories of torture. He closed his eyes and shuddered. He’d protected her most of her life. But he’d let that happen to her. It was almost beyond bearing.

He got up, nude, and poured himself another whiskey. He almost never drank hard liquor, but it wasn’t every day that a man faced the ruin of his own life. He’d been protecting Tat from a relationship that was impossible, because he’d been told that there was blood between them, that Tat was really his half sister. And it was a lie.

He’d never even questioned her mother’s revelation. He’d never dreamed that the religious, upright Mrs. Maria Car¬rington would lie to him. She loved Tat, though. Loved her dearly, deeply, possibly even more than she loved Matilda, her second child. The woman had been a pillar of the local church, never missing Mass, always there when anyone needed help, quick with a check when charity was required. She was almost a saint.

So when she told him that K.C. had seduced her in a drunken stupor, he’d believed her. Because he believed her, he pushed Tat away, taunted her, humiliated her, made her hate him. Or tried to.

But she wouldn’t hate him. Perhaps she couldn’t. He put the whiskey glass against his forehead, the cold ice comfort¬ing somehow. When he’d gone with the others to invade the capital in Barrera, Tat had pulled him to one side and linked the cross she always wore around his neck, asking him to wear it for luck. The gesture had hurt him. He wanted to pull her against him, bury his hard mouth in hers, let her feel the anguish of his arousal, show her how much he wanted her, needed her, cared for her. But that was impossible. They were too closely related. So he’d worn the necklace, but when he’d given it back, he was deliberately cold, impersonal.

When he’d left Barrera, what he’d said to her had shuttered her face, made her turn away, hurting. He’d hurt her more with his venomous comments at the airport in Johannesburg after he’d taken her out of Ngawa.

And that, all that, was for nothing. Because there was no blood between them. Because her mother had lied. Damn her mother!

He barely resisted the urge to slam the glass of whiskey through his bedroom window. That would arouse all the animals in the park, terrify the workers. It would bring back memories of another night when he got drunk, the night after Maria Carrington’s revelation. He’d gone on a week-long bender. He’d trashed bars, been in fights, outraged the small community near Nairobi where he lived. Even K.C. hadn’t been able to calm him, or get near him. Rourke in a temper was even worse than K.C. They’d stood back and let him get it out of his system.

Except that it wasn’t out. It would never be out. He fin¬ished off the whiskey and put the glass down on the bureau. The tinkle of ice against glass was loud in the quiet room. Outside a lion roared softly. He smiled sadly. He’d raised the lion from a cub. It would let him do anything with it. When he was home, it followed him around like a small puppy. But let anyone else approach him, and it became dangerous. K.C. had said he needed to give it to a zoo, but Rourke refused. He had so few amusements. The lion was his friend. There had been two of them, but a fellow game park owner had wanted it so desperately that Rourke had given it to him. Now he had just the one. He called it Lou—a play on words from the Afrikaans word for lion, leeu.

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

About the Author

An icon in western romance, Diana Palmer has been writing with Harlequin since 1980 and has published over 180 titles, with over 61 million books sold! When not writing, Susan’s hobbies are gardening, knitting, crocheting, astronomy, archaeology and animals. She also has dogs, cats, birds and lizards.


Follow the Tour

Untamed Tour Schedule

Monday, June 22nd
Book Mama Blog

Tuesday, June 23rd
A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, June 24th
Broken Teepee

Thursday, June 25th
Urban Girl Reader

Friday, June 26th
Book Reviews & More by Kathy

Monday, June 29th
Read Love Blog

Tuesday, June 30th

Wednesday, July 1st
The Sassy Bookster

Thursday, July 2nd
Bibliophilia, Please

Friday, July 3rd
Books and Spoons

Monday, July 6th
From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, July 7th
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, July 8th
One Curvy Blogger

Thursday, July 9th
Romance Novels for the Beach

Friday, July 10th
Raven Haired Girl

Monday, July 13th
A Night’s Dream of Books

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Enter to win $100 Visa gift card!
Ends at 12:01am EST on July 16th

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): Mercy House by Adam Cesare #Horror @TLCBookTours

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Title: Mercy House
Adam Cesare
Publisher: Hydra (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

Welcome to Mercy House, a state-of-the-art retirement home that appears perfectly crisp, clean, and orderly . . . but nothing could be farther from the truth. In Adam Cesare’s thrilling novel, the residents will find little mercy—only a shocking eruption of unfathomable horror.

Harriet Laurel notices the odor at Mercy House as soon as she sets foot inside, brought there against her will by her son, Don, and his wife, Nikki. In the early stages of dementia, Harriet has grown resentful of Nikki, blaming her daughter-in-law for failing to supply grandchildren. Yet even Harriet must admit that her mind becomes clearer as soon as she crosses the threshold. If it wasn’t for that annoying smell.

Arnold Piper is an eighty-five-year-old ex-Marine, a proud man who has cared for himself his whole life. But no longer. Betrayed by his aging body, Arnold is learning that the trials he survived long ago in war-torn Korea pale beside the daily indignities of growing old. Little does he know that his greatest nightmares are still ahead of him.

Sarah Campbell is an idealistic nurse whose compassion has been stretched to the breaking point at the chronically understaffed facility that is Mercy House. But now Sarah’s list of unpleasant duties is about to take a terrifying turn. For something wicked is brewing in Mercy House. Something dark and rotten . . . and deadly.

Praise for Mercy House

“Of all the new writers busting out on the scene—and there are some great ones, without a doubt—Cesare’s the young guy with the greatest encyclopedic gorehound know-how, blistering cinematic pace, unquenchable love of both fiction and film, and hell-bent will to entertain. . . . [He] does just about everything right.” — John Skipp, Fangoria

My Review

I'm glad that I've reached the end of the horror reviews that I have scheduled because I think my opinion of Mercy House suffered from me being burned out on the genre. I mean, it's set in a nursing home, which is horror in itself to many people. It sounded so good before I jumped into the horror swarm, but I was bored and skimming by the time I got to read it.

There are multiple characters in Mercy House, as stated in the description. I didn't really get attached to any of them (I expect everyone to die in most horror), but I became more detached as I read, which is not the norm for me. I didn't have much interest in what happened to anyone, and that definitely takes away from the tension that is present in this type of novel. Where I hoped to be hanging on to every word, I was skimming through the pages.

If you're a fan of horror, Mercy House has a concept that I've not seen before and most certainly is different from other stuff that I've read. It just wasn't for me.

- 2/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

About the Author

Waiting on Wednesday (113): The Sea King by C.L. Wilson


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Sea King (Weathermages of Mystral #2)
C.L. Wilson
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: July 15, 2016

He wasn't supposed to choose her...

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn't dare wed him...

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate's gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear...

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer's formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.

I did not even know that Fantasy Romance was a genre until I stumbled across C.L. Wilson's Tairen Soul series. Then, it took me less than a week to devour all five books. I immediately jumped on her next book, the first in this series, The Winter King. Although I'm sad that The Sea King will not be out for another year, I'm glad that she delayed the release to do further work on the book. While researching for this week's WOW, I did discover that Wilson will be writing another book in the Tairen Soul series, which resulted in a loud-pitched squee. I really wish that I could find another author like C.L. Wilson, so that I could read amazing novels like these all the time.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen @TLCBookTours @harperbooks

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Title: The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2)
Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Acquired Via:
TLC Book Tours

In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Queen Kelsea and her realm.

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, Kelsea has crossed the brutal Red Queen, who derives her power from dark magic and who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what she claims is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing. She finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. Soon Kelsea herself begins to change; she does not recognize either her reflection in the mirror or the extraordinary power she now commands. The fate of the Tearling—and that of Kelsea's own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Queen Kelsea is running out of time.

In this second volume of the compelling trilogy begun with her bestselling The Queen of the Tearling, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine.

My Review

The Queen of the Tearling (Book 1): Kayla's Review; Amber's Review
The Invasion of the Tearling (Book 2): Amber's Review

As you can see, Amber and I are pretty big fans of this series, and I've personally been following it since it sold, and Emma Watson jumped on board to be in the movie. The Queen of the Tearling was a really great debut novel, and I was excited to get on the blog tour for The Invasion of the Tearling, too. The Invasion of the Tearling picks up where the first book left off and takes the story to a much deeper level.

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Kim Has Read So Far in 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books Kim's Read So Far in 2015 TBR

1. Owl and the Japanese Circus (The Adventures of Owl #1) by Krista Charish

This is the first book in a new Urban Fantasy series, and I loved it! Owl is an antiquities thief, who has encounters with all kinds of supernatural beings, including; dragons, nagas, vampires, thralls, and more. You can find my review HERE.

2. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

I’ve mentioned this one in a previous Top Ten Tuesday, and I’m writing about it again because this book will stick with you forever. This is what I wrote before:
This book is so hard to explain, and it took me forever to read it, since it was confusing at times. But I had to finish it. It was so weird and disturbing that I think it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I don’t know what to say. Just read it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cover Reveal: Skin Deep by Pamela Sparkman

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Title: Skin Deep (Stolen Breaths #3)
Pamela Sparkman
Publisher: Self
Cover Reveal Organizer: Epic Literary Promotions
Release Date: July 20, 2015

She hates me.

I’m in love with her.

Her life is a masquerade.

Mine is cloaked in secrets.

She thinks I can’t see her.

But she’s the only thing I can see.

She thinks we have nothing in common.

We have everything in common.

And I’m done being patient.

I'm determined.

She's stubborn.

You think you know us.

You don't.

The things you know about us are only Skin Deep

About the Author

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Review: In the Air Tonight by Lori Handeland (ARC) @SMPRomance

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Title: In the Air Tonight (Sisters of the Craft #1)
Lori Handeland
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (Macmillan)
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Acquired Via: NetGalley

Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart's destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had...

With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere.

She’s learned to keep her visions to herself . . . until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along?

Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case—and with Bobby—the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows . . . and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?

My Review

It should come as no surprise that I immediately wanted to read In the Air Tonight, as it involves three sister witches. As it has more than a few commonalities with my guilty pleasure Charmed, In the Air Tonight was a quick and entertaining read for me.